Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: For the 1st half it was Brandone Francis, who had 11 points on 4 of 6 from the floor, 3 boards, 2 assists, and no turnovers. For the second half, I’m going with Davide Moretti and Jarrett Culver, who each had 9 points, Moretti getting his on just 3 shots, while Culver went 3 for 6.
Defender of the Game: I don’t know how you choose between Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens, so I won’t. Mooney had 4 steals on the night and he’s so good defensively on the perimeter, understands spacing and where he needs to be defensively, while Owens had 4 blocks and affected many more shots during the course of the game.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Kyler Edwards scored 8 points, grabbed 4 boards, had 6 assists, 1 steal, and 1 turnover on the day. Nice day for Edwards.
- Any time that you make 45% from the three-point line things are probably going to go well, and the cushion that you saw in the first half was largely a result of hitting those outside shots, Texas Tech going 7 of 15 and just 3 of 7 in the second half. In fact, Texas Tech only shot 43% from the field in the first half, but when you shoot better for deep, it’s probably going to be a good day.
- What a strange game. Texas Tech only had 2 free throw attempts in the first half, both made by Jarrett Culver, then had 10 in the second half. Meanwhile, Oklahoma had 10 free throw attempts in the first half and 2 in the second. Lots of weird non-calls for both teams.
- Texas Tech did not get beat on the glass, which is good news, outrebounding Oklahoma 29-25 and had 9 offensive boards. Credit to Norense Odiase who only played 16 minutes, but was ridiculously effective, grabbing 11 rebounds in that time, including 3 offensive with a sweet pass to Mooney who was diving after an offensive board. Odiase also had 2 blocks and a steal in his limited minutes.
- The bench really carried Texas Tech with Francis’ first-half outburst of 11 points while Kyler Edwards had probably one of his best games of the year, making all 3 of his shots. Add in the defensive pressure of Deshawn Corprew and his ability to score and this was a fun group to watch. Corprew is one of my favorite players on the team and I’m convinced that if he played 25 minutes a game he’d average double-figures and 6 rebounds a game. There are older guys like Francis and Culver that limit what Corprew can do, but he’s going to be really good next year I think.
- Such solid games from the starting guards, Moretti had 14 points to lead all scorers and didn’t have a great game with some of those ancillary stats, 2 boards, 0 assists, and 3 turnovers, but any time that he can score 14 on just 7 shots while making all 4 of his free throw attempts is a good thing. Culver didn’t have a great shooting game, really struggled in the first half, going 1-6, but played that mid-range game that he’s so effective at and attacked the basket in the second half and was much better. In that second half Culver was 3-6 including 1-1 from the three-point line and made both of his free throw attempts. Mooney continues to play stifling defense and had 11 on 4 of 10 with a rebound, 3 assists, 3 turnovers, a block, and 4 steals.
- Tariq Owens really loves the outside shot and I know that we won’t see it, but I’d love to see some moves closer to the basket. His ability to affect shots is really something we haven’t seen since Tony Battie and that ability alone is worth a ton for this team defensively. Owens’ biggest problem in terms of scoring is that he didn’t make those buckets around the rim that he normally does, going 0-3 at the rim with no dunk attempts.
- After Texas Tech goes on the road again to face Oklahoma State this next week, they’ll host Baylor, Kansas, and Oklahoma State again before heading back on the road to TCU (who is capable of beating anyone, including Iowa State in Ames like they did yesterday), hosting Texas, and then on the road to face Iowa State. These next four games, including the road game in Stillwater and the three successive home games are a big deal.
- Texas Tech is 7-4 in the Big 12 along with Iowa State, and Kansas, while Kansas State has a 1.5 game lead sitting at 8-2 overall. The Wildcats still have to go to Texas, then host Iowa State, at West Virginia, host Oklahoma State, on the road against Kansas, host Baylor, on the road against TCU, and then host Oklahoma. One of my pre-game stat sites, T-Rank, thinks Texas Tech will finish 12-6 in the Big 12 (would take), which is the same as Kansas State and wins the Big 12, while Iowa State and Kansas are predicted to go 11-7. If you thought the conference race was fun previously, well . . . hold onto your butts.
- Head coach Chris Beard:
“We have been getting better in practice an in games,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “I think today we made a couple steps and that is what we are all trying to do this time of year. We all feel the pressure and the need to win these games, but there is something bigger than each individual game that is coming. For us, it’s just playing the best we can. Are we playing better right now than we were a couple of weeks ago? Yes. Are we playing as well as we can? No. This time of year is about trying to improve and today against an opponent and coach that we have a lot of respect for I thought we did improve.”
- Texas Tech stays on the road, facing Oklahoma State on Wednesday night in Stillwater. This is one of those games that Texas Tech needs to win because the Cowboys are only 2-8 in conference play and despite being more than halfway through the season, this will be the first time to play the Pokes.